We frequently hear in the news that celebrities have “filed for divorce” right after they separate, which gives people the impression that a divorce is as simple as waking up one day and deciding you’re finished being married. The law in North Carolina, however, doesn’t quite work this way.
Going through a divorce is an emotionally straining and frustrating experience that affects many aspects of your life. As you go through your married life, you accumulate assets together, like bank and retirement accounts, car titles, and mortgages. When the decision to end the marriage occurs, those assets must be divided.
If you’ve been served with divorce papers, you may be feeling upset or even overwhelmed. However, understanding some of the initial steps that you’ll need to take may help you clear your thoughts and plan for what’s ahead of you. In this article, we’ll explain what you should do in the days and weeks after you’ve been notified of divorce proceedings.
Last June, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states in the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges decision. While gay couples in North Carolina had already won their right to marry after the 2014 U.S. District Court ruling in General Synod of the United Church of Christ v. Cooper, the decision in Obergefell still made a massive impact in our state and everywhere else — same-sex couples can now marry anytime, anywhere, and in any state without worrying that their marriage won’t be recognized elsewhere due to differing state laws regarding gay marriage.
While Obergefell stripped away the complicated patchwork of state statutes on same-sex marriage, it has created a whole new host of legal concerns for same-sex couples, especially those who marry and then later decide to divorce. Since a full legal marriage has only been an option for gay couples in North Carolina for about two years (and less in some other states), these couples may not have had time to familiarize themselves with some of the family law issues that now apply to them.
When you’re going through a divorce, it can be hard to handle the stress and emotional turmoil. Often, the legal aspects of divorce tend to get tangled up with the emotional and personal issues that led to the end of the relationship, and arguments over child custody only complicate the situation further. Continue reading “7 Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Child Custody Case”
When a marriage ends, the court commonly orders one spouse to provide financial support to the other for a period of time — sometimes even indefinitely. This mandatory payment to a former spouse is called “spousal support,” although the average person will probably recognize it by the more familiar term “alimony.”
This is Part 2 of a recent article that I wrote for the NCAJ Trial Briefs magazine regarding recent laws passed by the North Carolina General Assembly which affect family law and divorce issues.
Foster Care Children’s Bill of Rights
The General Assembly passed a bill entitled “Foster Care Children’s Bill of Rights” which became law on July 23, 2013. The new law amends N.C.G.S. § 131D-10.1 to insert a list of 11 goals with regards to foster care that are designed to make the quality of life better for foster children. The bill states that violations of the new law do not create a cause of action against the State, the NC Department of Health and Human Services, or any person providing foster care.
This is Part 1 of a recent article that I wrote regarding recent laws passed by the North Carolina General Assembly which affect family law and divorce issues. Part 2 will be coming soon.
The recent legislative session of the North Carolina General Assembly was notable for many reasons and brought a lot of attention to the State of North Carolina. While one high profile bill that was passed in the area of family law garnered a good bit of national attention, there were several others that could significantly impact family law practitioners. The following is a summary of new laws that were enacted during the long session of the 2013 General Assembly that may impact you in your representation of domestic clients.
Barker v Barker – Civil Contempt
Defendant/Father appealed from an order finding him in contempt for failure to comply with a consent order directing him to pay a portion of his child’s college tuition and expenses. The order was affirmed by the North Carolina Court of Appeals. The parties signed a consent order on August 20, 2003, which resolved all of the issues between them regarding child custody, child support, equitable distribution and spousal support. The issue pertinent to the appeal was the parties’ agreement regarding payment of tuition costs and expenses for college. Father agreed to pay 90% and Mother agreed to pay 10% of the tuition, room and board costs of the children’s college education, as long as the “diligently applied themselves to the pursuit of education.”